Managing a virtual health appointment

Many physicians and other healthcare practitioners are providing care through phone or video calls. While this took off because of the pandemic, virtual appointments seem here to stay. They’re a great way to help keep everyone safe while still addressing many of your healthcare needs.

To make sure you get the most out of your time with your doctor, follow these tips:

Before your appointment
• Choose a private and quiet location with minimal background noise.
• If it’s a video appointment, make sure there is ample light so your doctor can see you clearly. If you need to show them a part of your body, wear loose-fitting clothing.
• Have on hand any devices your doctor may have recommended, such as a thermometer, bathroom scale or blood pressure monitor.
• Gather any information you may need, including your current medication list and pharmacy name, location and phone number. Also take note of any healthcare data such as recent blood pressure readings or glucose levels.
• Write down a list of questions and concerns. Have a paper and pen to take notes.

During your appointment
• Keep in mind the call from your healthcare provider may come in as a blocked number.
• Give yourself extra time, as the call may come in a bit before or after your scheduled time.
• Let your doctor know if someone else is with you and introduce them.
• Keep an open mind. Although the appointment might feel different, try to treat it like a regular visit. Ask questions. Schedule follow up appointments if needed.

Technology tips
• Choose whether you’ll use a smartphone, tablet or computer. Ensure that your device is charged and that you have access to a reliable connection.
• Video calls work best with high-speed internet. If possible, consider using a wired connection.
• When booking or confirming your video appointment, ask which app or program your provider will use and download it before your session.

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